March 12 - Singapore-headquartered AAL is planning to further increase the size of its fleet to over 500,000 dwt in 2015.

The breakbulk, project cargo and heavy lift shipping operator has recently chartered AAL Galveston, a G-Class multipurpose, heavy lift vessel. At 160 m in length and with a summer deadweight of 25,800 dwt and combined lifting capacity of 240 tonne, adding capacity to its Tramp & Projects division.

It has also extended the charter of another G-Class vessel, AAL Gladstone, as well as the charters of its three T-Class vessels.

The shipping line, which recently rebranded its operation from Austral Asia Line to AAL, has also announced a doubling of revenues in the past two years, and an increased market share in its core regions, growing from an Austral-Asian carrier to a global operator with the expansion of its fleet, trade routes, services and operational infrastructure on a worldwide scale.

AAL's fleet currently comprises 14 owned multipurpose vessels - ten 31,000 dwt A-Class and four 19,000 dwt S-Class vessels - each with a combined heavy lift capability of 700 tonnes. It also employs third party tonnage on long term charter, as well as further vessels on single voyage charter.

"Despite the challenges we all face in today's shipping industry, AAL has continued to realise strong growth and performance," said the shipping line's managing director, Kyriacos Panayides.

"This growth has been largely achieved by managing our operational costs, maximising efficiencies within our fleet and expanding into new markets."